Senate votes that Trump impeachment trial is constitutional

Senate votes 56-44 to move ahead with the impeachment trial of former President.

Ben Ariel ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Shealah Craighead/White House official

The Senate voted on Tuesday to move ahead with the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump after listening to hours of arguments on whether it is constitutional to try a president who is already out of office.

The vote was 56-44, according to Fox News.

Trump's legal team argued the trial is unconstitutional because he's no longer in office and can't face removal, which is the standard judgment of an impeachment conviction.

House Democrats, however, made the case that not only is there precedent for proceeding with impeachment for a federal official who is out of office, but it's the right thing to do to hold presidents accountable.

They pointed to the 1876 corruption case of William Belknap, President Ulysses Grant's war secretary, who was impeached and tried by the Senate after leaving office.

The House prosecutors said the Constitution applies to every day a president is in office, and Trump's conduct as president cannot be ignored even if he's since left office.

After the vote, the Senate trial adjourned until noon Wednesday.

The US House of Representatives impeached Trump last month for "inciting insurrection” which led to the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, marking the second time he has been impeached by the House.

Tuesday marked the start of Trump’s impeachment trial at the Senate.



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